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Table of Contents

RAAF Meteorological Service



Chapter 1: The Weather Factor in Warfare

Chapter 2: Establishing and Developing the RAAF Directorate of Met. Services (D.Met.S)

Chapter 3: Recruiting and Training of Personnel

Chapter 4: Meteorology in Aviation

Chapter 5: The Met. Retreating
Papua New Guinea and New Britain
The Netherlands East Indies and Malaya
Escape from Timor
Northern Australia—1942

Chapter 6: The Met. Advancing

Chapter 7: The Met With the Army and the Navy

Chapter 8: Divisional Offices of the Bureau of Meteorology During the War

Chapter 9: Research and Instrumental Development

Chapter 10: The End, Aftermath, and Beyond

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Appendix 3

Appendix 4



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Escape from Timor (continued)

Along the Babaoe Road heading for Tjainplong, waves of Japanese planes passed overhead and dropped 500 parachute troops about three miles from the party.

Rofe himself attended as best he could to fever-stricken youngsters without quinine or medical supplies. On March 12, he left with a small party for a native village, Naaklioe; when he returned from this daring expedition, he had six blankets, a good supply of rice and some native herbs. Malaria, blackwater fever and tropical ulcers raged amongst the men. One AIF man in the party died from a fearsome combination of fever and snakebite.

Supplies, letters and medicines were flown over from Darwin following radioed requests from Rofe's party. But, in two airdrops, countless parcels were lost in the sea.

'Many of the men were ill with malaria (Rofe went on). Two came back after scouting for a suitable landing spot and said that they had found a beach that could be used. Some of the party were really sick but we struggled towards the beach and radioed Darwin about it. Apparently they thought we were mad. We couldn't persuade them to land there and were told we were on our own.'[57]

Then came THE message—an American submarine would call within five days to take them off the island. A signalling system was arranged, and for the following five nights, a fire burned, hidden from searching enemy eyes by tattered shirts.

The submarine came, and an officer landed . . . on the very night that an Australian air raid on the island had forced the fugitives under cover. Rofe sent another message and rescue plans were again set out. At midnight that night, a flashing light was seen in the bay. The US submarine Sea Raven had returned to the rescue for the second time.

People in Bright Sparcs - Rofe, Bryan

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Joyce, J. 1993 'The Story of the RAAF Meteorological Service', Metarch Papers, No. 5 October 1993, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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